US donates 6 military helicopters and $67million to Lebanon army

Lebanese-MD-530-helicopters-donated-by-US
Afghan Air Force MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopter fires its two FN M3P .50 Cal machine guns during a media demonstration, April 9, 2015, at a training range outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston/Released)
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US Ambassador Dorothy Shea (front L) is shown at Hamat Air Base, during the delivery of 6 MD-530F military helicopters as a gift from the United States of America to the Lebanese Army in addition to $67 millions in aid to the army. Army Commander General Joseph Aoun and several top officers of the army attended the ceremony

US Ambassador Dorothy Shea said , in a speech at Hamat Air Base, during the delivery of 6 MD-530F military helicopters as a gift from the United States of America to the Lebanese Army, that “this military assistance confirms the strong ties between the United States and Lebanon, and the existing partnership On the interests of the two friendly countries,” she pointed out, that her country “will continue to provide aid to the military institution in the next stage, with an additional $67 million allocated to it,” stressing that “this aid is based on developing training, and providing modern military equipment and technologies to maintain Lebanon’s security and stability.” , commending the efficiency of the Lebanese army and the Lebanese pilots.

The United States of America donated today six MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopter to the Lebanese Army . (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Perry Aston/Released)

Army Commander General Joseph Aoun, who attended the ceremony, said that “this occasion renews the process of effective cooperation and friendship between the Lebanese army and the United States of America,” noting that during his recent visit to the United States of America, he sensed “a consensus on the continued support of the army, because fortifying it is equivalent to fortifying Lebanon, and because its steadfastness in the face of this delicate stage enhances stability, preserves Lebanon’s unity and prevents it from sliding into strife or civil war again, and we thank the countries that help us as they seek to find a legal formula that allows assistance to be provided in line with the necessary and urgent needs of the military

He continued, “There is no doubt that our strategic partnership with the Americans to confront security challenges has led to an increase in the volume of American aid in the past years, which has enabled the army to continue carrying out its missions and developing the capabilities of its units, especially the navy, as well as the air force that is adding to its family a squadron of MD-530 helicopters this adds to the previously donated Super Tucano, Cessna and Scan Eagle planes > All these constitutes a transformation in the combat capability that the Air Force now possesses, which gave an important impetus to the army, and the continuous American support for the army reflects the confidence of the American administration in it, and its keenness to develop Its capabilities and strengthening its role in protecting borders and maintaining internal stability, thus preserving Lebanon’s unity and preventing its slide into sedition or civil war again. I felt this concern during my recent visit to the United States of America and my meetings with senior officials from the legislative and executive authorities, and they unanimously agreed to continue supporting the army, Which enjoys a local and international consensus, because fortifying the army is equivalent to fortifying Lebanon.”

He continued, “The Lebanese army is going through an economic crisis today that may be the worst in its history, but there is no fear for it. The will of its officers and soldiers, and their belief in the sacred mission of their army, are the incentive for their steadfastness and their insistence on carrying out their missions with discipline, professionalism and absolute loyalty to the military institution, which its people always pledge to defend.” His dignity, and the preservation of the stability of the homeland, regardless of the challenges and no matter how high the sacrifices, and our priority today is to fortify the military institution and ensure its continuity with the minimum operational capabilities, and support the military.

Only legitimate security force

Timothy Betts, US First Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs

“We support the Lebanese army because it is the only legitimate security force that protects stability “The US First Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs, Timothy Betts, said during an interview . He said that he met the commander of the Lebanese army, General Joseph Aoun, and had detailed discussions with him about the American support that Washington has provided him in the past, and he has heard from him about the current needs of the Lebanese army to ensure that American aid meets those needs. He pointed out that America provides security assistance to Lebanon worth $240 million from the US Ministries of State and Defense, as the State Department provides aid worth $190 million to secure equipment and training, while the Ministry of Defense provides $50 million.

Asked if this aid is given to the army to confront “Hezbollah”, he replied: “Our position on Hezbollah is known and has not changed, but there is only one legitimate force in Lebanon, and it is the force that we support because it is the one that supports Lebanese people.”

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